Tips for parenting babies: Wait, Watch, Wonder
In the late 1990’s a psychotherapeutic intervention was developed and formalised into the Wait, Watch and Wonder™ (WWW) program. Essentially it was about observing and enabling relationships between children and parents; in which the parent observed behaviours then followed the baby/child’s lead.
It involves a structured program, but the philosophical fundamentals can apply to us all. WATCH – by watching a baby or child we can learn so much, but if we watch then WAIT to see what the baby or child is doing, then WONDER about what is happening for that baby or child. What is happening in that inner world, the feelings, thoughts and needs that are expressed in the baby or child’s actions? This is a great way to help tired, fatigued and delirious parents separate what feelings belong to the baby or child and what belong to the parent.
Here’s a little exercise to try...
When your baby or child is in that awake and content moment, just lie down on the floor with him or her, and let them ‘lead’ the conversation. If the baby or child reaches out to you, watch, wait a moment, and then gently reach back. If they ‘coo’ or vocalise to you, watch, wait a moment and wonder why, then reciprocate with a gentle sound similar to what they have made.
It is amazing watching parents learn from their babies and children by simply watching behaviours, waiting a moment and wondering what is happening for the baby or child at that very moment. In the haze of sleeplessness, it is often difficult to take time to ‘be with’ the baby or child, so this is a simple but often powerful way to spend a moment ‘with’ each other.
Help with looking after your baby
The NourishBaby - Guide to Babies - is an online program that you can view in your own time. The Guide to Babies helps you to understand and care for your baby and covers key milestones, sleep and settling advice and baby development. There is a section on real parents sharing their experience of adjusting to parenthood.
Many parents have reduced sleep when a new baby arrives. The Safe Sleep Space website has a variety of resources and supports to provide tips and advice on how to assist your baby with sleep. You can also book a phone consultation to speak with a Sleep Consultant.
Other blog posts you will find helpful:
- Safe Sleep Space